READ: This is entirely fiction, based not on my own or anyone else’s feelings. If this bears any resemblance to anyone, living or dead, and causes offense, I apologize and will take it down immediately.
(Found written in black pen, cursive, and placed on the bedside table. The pen, monogrammed, laid neatly by its side)
Dear Hotel Owner or Staff,
Hello. How are you? I hope you are fine. I am not fine. You’ll probably find this after you have seen that I am not fine for yourself. Hopefully you found it on the table where I left it and not blown onto the floor or in some corner of the room. I left the window open. I didn’t want to stink too badly, not knowing how long before someone came looking. I’m sorry if I smell bad. I didn’t intend to. I hope people will still want to sleep in this room. You could market it as being haunted. Tourists love that sort of thing. Maybe TAPS will come investigate for Ghost Hunters. You and your hotel could be on television. Wouldn’t that be exciting?
As you can see, I’m dead. I’m sorry if this upsets you. You can dry your eyes on my shirt if you really must. It’s not like anyone else will want it now. Maybe you will, I suppose. You can have it if I’m not in some advanced state of rigor mortise, too stiff to disrobe traditionally. If I am, sorry. It’s a nice shirt and I’d hate to have it thrown out. You can have the pen I used to write this, too. My grandmother gave it to me for Christmas when I was seven, right before she died. I haven’t refilled the ink in awhile though. Sorry if it’s almost out.
So I guess I should get to the meat of this letter. Do you care? Does it matter to you? My parents have not called in some time, so I don’t think they need to be notified. I suppose that’s my fault though; I managed to push them out of my life when all they wanted was their baby boy to tell them he loved them, spend some time with them, come home for dinner once in a while. They moved out to Hawaii when I graduated from college, satisfied with the help they had given me and decided they owed me nothing more, as I had decided I owed them nothing to begin with. If you want to call them, their number is written on my left forearm in sharpie. You can tell them I’m sorry, if you feel so inclined. If not, that’s okay. Sorry to be giving orders, posthumously. I don’t mean to burden you with my family problems.
My girlfriend told me I didn’t have a spine. She left me. Maybe for someone else, I don’t know. But for the first time in my life, I didn’t snoop and I didn’t pry. However, I said something about killing myself to her, not entirely serious, just grieving and sad, overreacting, and she said I didn’t have the spine to do it. I guess I proved her right a little too late, in all the wrong ways. I don’t think she’d care though. Sorry I don’t have her number anymore so you don’t have to consider calling her for me. She’d just hang up, assuming it was a joke, I think. She never took me very seriously.
That’s it I guess. You can use the rope once you’ve cut me down. It’s a nice rope, very strong. I think this situation is proof enough of that. I hope I can say the same thing for your ceiling fan. Sorry if I broke it. I didn’t mean to.
They say suicide is the consequence of not loving yourself enough. But like they also say: if you love someone, let them go. I loved myself enough I think, more than anyone else has for awhile, so I had to let me go.
- James T. Malinowski
March 15th, 2009